General Photo Use Guidelines


Full rights to photos taken by USF's staff photographers belong to the university. Photographs may be used for any and all uses in print or online media. USF staff who hire freelance photographers should ensure that full-usage rights to the images belong to the University of South Florida as part of the terms of your request for purchase.

Photo Releases

Photos taken in public places, for purposes of news or general information, do not require photo releases. Photos used to advertise products or services of the university may not require releases when the focus of the photo is a location or event, not a person.

Examples: a group of students at a USF football game; a group of alumni at a homecoming event; students walking on MLK Plaza.

When an individual's face is featured in such a way as to be clearly recognizable, and appears to endorse USF's programs, the best practice is to obtain a signed release, to be stored with records of payment for the ad or publication.

Example: An individual who is highlighted on a special scholarship award brochure (implies the featured individual received a scholarship).

Any advertising use of images that include minor children under 18 years of age, or hospital patients, require a signed photo release, to be filed with records of placement and payment for the ad or publication. If a release and other identifying information is not available, include "photo illustration" in a caption or credit, to be clear that the individual is shown for illustrative purposes only.

Staff may obtain and store releases over and above these guidelines if they feel it is in their best interest.

Internet Photos/Images

You should not assume that photos/images found on the internet (including those indexed by Google Images) are free to use. Do not use photos/images found on the Internet unless you have received permission or have paid appropriate fees.

Commercial Stock

USF generated and owned photos are preferred, but stock images may be used when such use makes sense. Make sure to understand and obey all usage limitations under the terms of the stock purchase. Royalty-free stock is recommended. Rights-protected stock may not be shared or used in any way not specified in the purchase agreement.

USF Stock

USF staff should make sure that USF's stock images are used appropriately.

Example: Don't imply that people in USF photos belong to one college when they in fact are part of another. Check the photo content to ensure it is accurate and appropriate – do not misrepresent USF students or personnel.

Photo Requests from Outside the University

External media outlets, businesses and others may request permission to use USF photos. USF photography is the property of the University of South Florida and should be credited with the university name, or university and university photographer name as shown:

University of South Florida Photo, or Photographer Name | University of South Florida

USF Library Photo Resources

A wide variety of photo resources, including Associated Press images, are available from the Tampa campus library. The images may be used within specific restrictions that vary by the source. Make sure to check any restrictions related to each image before use.

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